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Last Updated on Monday, 01 August 2011 10:48
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: THERAPY OR QUACKERY?
THE AFRICAN HORSESICKNESS PERSPECTIVE.
Dr. L. A. Gouws BVSc (Pret)
From the outset I must make perfectly clear that I am not in the least anti-alternative therapy. On the contrary I regularly advise on and prescribe homeopathic remedies to my clients if they so prefer. I also do aqua-puncture on horses on a regular basis and the solution injected is purely homeopathic ( saline, Vit.B 12 and Traumeel). The South African Equine Veterinary Association of which I am a member has it’s own Alternative Medicine Group and I totally support their initiative.
Unfortunately over the past few years we have seen numerous websites spring up as well as advertisements in other media where the authors claim to have found a “miracle cure” for AHS. Some even claim that their products will cure all infections and even cancer. You can find useful things on the internet, free stuff on Gumtree and even some scientific-based advice about AHS, but these 'miracle cure' sites are to be avoided. Ridiculous unsubstantiated figures are quoted of horses that survived AHS by means of these miracle drugs where “conventional medicine has failed”. What is most disturbing is the dangerous and irresponsible misinformation that can be found in the promotional material for these products. Rightfully the Advertising Standards Authority of S.A. have managed to close down most of these websites for advertising unregistered products as stock remedies, making unsubstantiated claims, spreading dangerous information and misleading the public. Common comments found on these websites and other promotional materials are the following: